Venus enters its domicile Libra tomorrow morning at 10:37 a.m. CST (where it will be until September 11) and swiftly moves into the first wave of cardinal Grand Cross configurations August 23 - 27.
A new social framework is being put in place over the next nine months, and this first wave, initiated by Venus, sets the tone.
Venus will square Pluto in Capricorn (August 23), oppose Uranus in Aries (August 26), and square Jupiter in Cancer (August 27), forming an acute, stressed, and highly-strung configuration that may require action, initiative, and strong social leadership skills under pressurized circumstances.
The personal planets Mercury, the Sun, and Mars will follow Venus into Libra, activating further waves of cardinal Grand Cross configurations in September, October, and December 2013, culminating in The Big One - an exact Grand Cross formation involving Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto at 13 degrees of the cardinal signs in April 2014.
We're being positioned and re-positioned - often dramatically, often unexpectedly - over the next nine months in an effort to reformulate relationships and social scenes to better fit the requirements of the astrological Aquarian era. Rules are changing. Ideals are shifting. Conventions are dissolving. Power dynamics are breaking down.
We can expect situations to escalate around the times that the Grand Crosses become exact, reaching crisis points that require decisiveness and leadership. These crises will often be related to the failure of the old set-ups, requiring that we find a new way...and quickly.
With Pluto involved in the Grand Crosses, potentially uncomfortable issues related to power are being drawn to the surface in relationships with an impetus to examine, make aware, and then transform. With Uranus involved, relationships and personal directions within relationship can change dramatically and unexpectedly as new insights and events arise. People will be rebelling from attempts to pigeonhole them in outdated relationship roles. With Jupiter in the mix, it is our wisdom, our truth, and our personal guiding philosophies (and those of our families) that provide shelter during the Grand Cross storms.
Jupiter in Cancer is now moving out of range of the Grand Water Trine with Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. The flowing, energetic glue that was holding things together is now gone, and there is little buffer from the tensions of the Grand Crosses.
Understand that people are going to be a little (or a lot) on edge.
As we experience the series of cardinal Grand Crosses, we will also experience retrogrades of both relationship-related planets. Love and partnership planet Venus goes retrograde in Capricorn (28 to 13 degrees) from December 20, 2013 to January 30, 2014. Sex, attraction, and desire planet Mars goes retrograde in Libra (27 to 9 degrees) from March 1 to May 19, 2014. These retrogrades within cardinal Grand Cross indicate a major 'turning over of the earth' in relationships of all kinds as we hurtle further into the astrological Aquarian era. It is movement in our relationships and social scenes that catalyzes the biggest shifts as far as the ways in which our lives are structured.
The personal planets in Libra will be hitting all the relational marks we were challenged on during Saturn's transit of Libra (October 2009 to October 2012). During that transit, we set new, concrete standards for relationships and partners. We were challenged by illusion, delusion, and wishful thinking in love and relationship. We were tempted by dead ends, siren songs, and karmic loops. Don't be surprised if themes (or people) you thought you had resolved are kicked up again by the transiting planets in Libra. As the personal planets move through Libra and activate the Grand Crosses, we must prove in active and immediate ways that we've earned our new social authority, our new social positioning.
The transit and retrograde of Mars through Libra, in particular, is an activating transit for the Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in Libra generations, who are challenged to create "right human relations" during a quite inhumane period in human history.
The way people are treating each other on this planet, and the way they are being treated by the state, is fairly dismal in many cases, to say the least.
The eight-month transit and retrograde of Mars through the sign of its detriment, Libra, indicates we will have to fight (Mars) for the social relations (Libra) we wish to see on this planet. It is going to take active effort to maintain respect and a sense of peace, as well as our care for others despite exhaustion and overload.
Keeping our social balance and grace under these very intense and demanding cardinal Grand Cross energies will not be easy, but what is worthwhile is rarely easy.
'Social justice and change' are the names of the game with the personal planets in Libra activating the cardinal Grand Crosses, and these urges can be seen around the world.
Beauty-themed Venus in Libra within cardinal Grand Cross, in particular, indicates a time when we can flip the bird to destructive, media-driven beauty ideals once and for all.
There is a leveling of false beauty hierarchies underway as we move further into egalitarian Aquarius. We can assist this process by rejecting the soul-devoid, competition-based versions of beauty so often stuffed down our throats and by opting for something more humane, more fair, more realistic, more respectful, something that honours the beauty in all of us.
In fact, this is a time when we can pop the beauty illusions altogether, deconstructing all image-related mindfuckery and releasing ourselves from its grip. This is a time to ask: Why let someone else dictate to you what's beautiful? Why does it matter how we look at all? Why do certain people get special treatment simply because they fit societal beauty moulds? And how do we justify all the time, effort, money, resources, and worry it takes to achieve those societal beauty standards?
Whereas the Piscean era was obsessed with a sublime, surreal, soft-around-the-edges beauty, a glowing beauty that could be placed on a pedestal above all the rest, an idealized beauty for which we were all then trained to strive, beauty in the astrological Aquarian era is more egalitarian, diverse, eclectic, unconventional, friendly, rough-around-the-edges, comrade-based.
The truth of the matter is: human beings are kind of weird. Being a human is kind of weird. We look sort of odd, when you get right down to it. The fact that humans are so enamoured of how they look - driven to a new, narcissistic extreme by digital cameras and social media - is actually kind of silly.
Alien life forms coming across a pack of humans would more than likely not be struck by their amazing and ethereal beauty. More than likely, they would think we were kind of odd. And we kind of are.
The things that make us different are the things that make us beautiful under Aquarius. No one has to fit him or herself into Piscean-era cookie cutter beauty ideals now. No one has to strive to look like anyone else. No one has to give any weight to these outdated ideals, at all.
We can drop the outdated Piscean-era beauty hierarchies and their corresponding misery - it's just going to take our conscious effort to do so.
* The lesser benefic and relationship planet Venus enters Libra on August 16, forming the first cardinal Grand Cross August 23 - 27. This is four 90-degree square aspects (frictional, clashing, dynamic) from bodies in all four cardinal signs (leadership, initiative, new direction).
Mercury in Libra forms the second cardinal Grand Cross September 13 - 19.
The Sun in Libra forms the third October 1 - 12.
Mars enters Libra December 7, 2013 until July 26, 2014 for an almost eight-month stay in the sign of the scales (its detriment), including a retrograde period from March 1 to May 19, 2014.
This transit activates the Uranus in Libra, Neptune in Libra, and Pluto in Libra generations in new ways for the astrological Aquarian era, as well as anyone with a strong contingent of personal planets in Libra.
Mars will form its first cardinal Grand Cross moving direct between December 23, 2013 and January 8, 2014.
The second cardinal Grand Cross will be an exact formation, blisteringly potent, forming April 21 - 24, 2014 with Mars Rx in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn all on 13 degrees of the signs.